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University of Michigan School of Information


Service Week

Service Week Volunteer Program

Proposal open date: June 1
Proposal close date: October 15
Project timeline: November
Project duration: 1-8 hours
Number of projects needed: 10-20

Service Week Website


During UMSI Service Week, students, staff, faculty, and alumni volunteer at Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Detroit non-profit organizations and work on a variety of information and non-information related projects. The event is organized by UMSI student volunteers. Projects’ timelines may vary depending on the organization’s needs. Hour-long time slots are posted in advance of Service Week and organizations may sign up for as many or few of them as are needed to complete the project.


  • Deliverables will vary by project and are based on the client needs and project scope. Examples may include:
    • Raked leaves
    • Data entry
    • Gardening 
    • Data analysis on small or less complex datasets
    • Book shelving
    • Document scanning
    • File sorting

Client Requirements 

  • Level of engagement for course/program 
    • Organize and prep anything needed for UMSI volunteers to assist effectively on the day of
    • Communicate with student volunteers prior to arrival
    • Be responsive to service week organizers prior to event

Additional Details

  • UMSI Service Week has grown from a single Service Day held on the Saturday of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, to a full six days of volunteer activity starting in 2017.

Past Projects

  • Cataloging LGBTQ Literature. At the Jim Toy Community Center, volunteers were able to successfully catalogue a total of 1,215 books on LGBTQ literature in 3 days.
  • Supporting New Voters. For the CivCity project, the charge was to develop a prototype New Voter Kit for first-time voters, especially youth who are turning 18. One group brainstormed the barriers to civic engagement and new voter registration, preferred communication channels and possible key messages. They also created personas that represent the project's target audience.
  • Preparing the Arb’s Peony Gardens. At the Nichols Arboretum, ten staff and students helped prepare the peony gardens for winter, using wheelbarrows to move stockpiles of mulch to spread in the beds.
  • Organizing Library Materials. At the Ann Arbor District Library, volunteers organized and archived a variety of materials, labeled art works and cleaned children’s toys.
  • Assisting with Housing Needs. Ten faculty, staff and students worked on a chilly Friday morning in Ypsilanti for Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley, helping to prepare a house for re-habitation. 
  • Spring Cleaning in Detroit. Over a dozen UMSI undergraduate students traveled to Detroit on Saturday to work on clean up at the Renville Street Community Garden.

Past Clients

  • Ann Arbor District Library
  • Ann Arbor Learning Community
  • Ann Arbor Summer Festival
  • Association of Outdoor Rec and Ed
  • Center for the Education of Women
  • The Corner Health Center
  • The CivCity Initiative
  • Focus: HOPE
  • Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley
  • Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County
  • Jim Toy Community Center
  • Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum
  • Natural Area Preservation
  • Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision

Contact us

Engaged Learning Office | [email protected] | (734) 763-1251

Please complete this form to submit a project proposal for one of our client-based courses or other programs, or to receive information about these opportunities throughout the year.